Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Charter school cover-up

23 May 2014

Charter school cover-up

The Green Party is challenging the Government to come clean about how much it’s planning to spend on the latest round of charter schools, as officials warn of the serious risks involved in opening more schools without first seeing whether the existing ones are working.

A list of groups who expressed an interest in applying to run a new charter school next year was released last night. Many of the organisations are religious and many failed in their bids to run charter schools in the last application round.

This comes as Ministry of Education officials warn that the Government has no idea how charter schools may be hurting other schools, that there are inconsistencies in the size of charter schools and what’s considered efficient for other state schools, and that there is a risk of continuing to fund them every year before evaluating whether they’re working well.

“Officials are warning of considerable risks associated with ploughing ahead with more charter schools without knowing whether the existing ones are working for kids, whether they’re hurting other schools in their neighbourhood, or are even good value for money,” Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said today.

“It is amazingly arrogant to plough ahead with plans to open more charter schools when the ones already open have not been proven to be successful, could be damaging other schools in the area, and are sucking up so much money.

“The existing five charter schools are already set to cost $9 million more than was budgeted last year and the Government is keeping secret how much it is planning to spent on the entire next round of new schools.

“The total amount being spent on the current round of charters is now $26 million over their first four years - a staggering amount - which is probably why the Government is keeping secret how much it plans to spend on the next round.

“There was no mention at all in the budget about how much National and Act were planning to spend on the new round of charter schools. Instead the amount is buried somewhere in the overall contingency fund.

“Public schools throughout the country can only dream of being given the amount of money that charter schools get. Imagine what schools could achieve with five times the amount they currently receive.

“No wonder charters can afford to feed their kids, don’t need to ask for parent donations and can provide free transport to and from school.

“Charter schools were sold as an alternative to ordinary state schools, which didn’t need to follow the curriculum, meet quality standards or employ trained teachers.

“But how is it possible to see how well these schools are really doing when they’re getting five times as much money as other state schools?

“Charter schools are an extreme right idea that’s rooted in the belief that the state does not have a role in running schools. They’re an attack on public education which use children in poorer communities to experiment on,” said Ms Delahunty.

Link to official advice listing the concerns about the Partnership School programme: www.minedu.govt.nz/~/media/MinEdu/Files/TheMinistry/PartnershipSchools/SecondApplication/EdReportAnnualApplicationRounds.pdf


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Gordon Campbell: On John Key’s Trip To Iraq

In the embedded press coverage on this trip, the absence so far of any evaluation of the wider context of what New Zealand thinks it is doing at Camp Taji has been striking. More>>


Labour: Parata Puts Brakes On Charter School Appraisal

“When the Ministry of Education recommended they compare the achievements of children at charter schools to those of their counterparts at state schools, the documents show Hekia Parata specifically prohibited them from doing so." More>>


Bad Day For Universities: Gun, Bomb Threats On Three Campuses

Dunedin Police are continuing their investigation into the threat made against the University of Otago. Staff are following a number of lines of inquiry, and police are working to verify the authenticity and source of the post. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Deal Reached In Atlanta

Yes, the TPP has helped to knock a few points off the tariffs facing our exporters. Yet some of those alleged dollar gains may well have been made regardless over time – and without the negative baggage of the concessions in the non-trade areas (intellectual property, copyright extensions, investor-state dispute mechanisms etc) that the TPP deal also brings in its wake. More>> (Cartoon by Dave Wolland)

Public Summaries:


Wellington.Scoop: Serco – First The Prisons, And Now It Wants To Run The Trains

As the government continues its inquiry into Serco’s discredited administration of Mt Eden prison in Auckland, here in Wellington there’s further scrutiny of the British outsourcing company – because it’s competing to take over the running of our commuter trains. More>>


Pre-Signing: Gordon Campbell On The TPP Countdown

To date, the Key government has been unwilling to share any information about this TPP deal until it is too late for outraged public opinion to affect the outcome... the disclosure process is likely to consist of a similarly skewed and careful exercise in spin. More>>


Australia Deportations: English Relaxed On Immigration Centre Conditions

Labour's Annette King: “There have been numerous reports from inside these detention centres on just how bad conditions are... If they were being held in any other foreign jail, I imagine Mr English would be somewhat concerned. More>>


Schools: Achievement-Based Funding Would Be A Disaster

The Education Minister’s speech to the PPTA Conference raising the spectre of achievement data driving a new funding system would be disastrous, says NZEI Te Riu Roa. More>>

  • Video Out-Link - PPTA Annual Conference 2015 on Livestream (Q+A dicussion suggests funding would be directed to less successful schools.)

  • ALSO:

    ECE Report:

    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news